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Mud Season

Mud Season

When I started my current job nearly a decade ago (wait… what?), the school I work for in Central California had just become affiliated with a larger school back in northern New England. As soon as I arrived on the job that January there was immediately talk of me traveling to the “mothership” back East for an orientation visit of sorts. Wanting to hold off until I had my feet under me, I held out for a couple of months before firming up dates for a visit in late April.

“Oh,” said one of my New England colleagues when I told them when I’d be visiting. “Mud season.”

Now, I’ve seen the Mudmen of Papua New Guinea (pictured below), and I’m familiar with “mudders” (intense running events featuring abundant manmade mud), but what in the world is “mud season”?

It turns out that for those blessed with actual seasons and snow that piles up everywhere and sticks around—something I have never experienced, not even during four years living in the Washington D.C. area, where a foot of snow would melt away within a few days—there are five seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter, and between winter and the fully-dried-out thaw of spring, mud season. (In much of New England there is also a sixth: leaf season. That one is actually worth making a big deal over.)

Having dribbled on (groan away, I deserve it) thusly for four paragraphs, I’ll get to the point: yes, it’s a metaphor. Mud season is a window of time when the sun is bright and full of promise, yet our feet sometimes feel as though they’re still caught in the muck and it takes extra effort to keep moving forward without stumbling. You have to watch your step and pay attention to keeping your balance.

From where I sit, that sounds and feels quite a bit like the early stages of prepping a completed manuscript for publication. At the moment I’m focused on prepping the cover for novel #2—the sequel to Believe in Me—and while I’d gotten a bit bogged down for a while, as soon as cover artist Jean-Paul Vest and I started bouncing ideas off each other like Nerf arrows, the process became gloriously unstuck once again.

Looking ahead, I see warmth and sunshine on its way, followed by a new book for you to peruse and hopefully enjoy sometime in the second half of the year. In the meantime, stay tuned and keep your boots dry.

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